American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Comment in Response to the 2022 CDC Provisional Data
August 21, 2023 – 3 min read
NEW YORK (August 21, 2023) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released provisional data on suicide deaths for the year 2022. While these data provide a preview, the finalized data may change so as people interpret the newly released report, it’s important to remember the following:
- The data are provisional, meaning it does not include final national suicide data or any rates for the year 2022. It also does not provide a comprehensive view of full year suicide trends based on gender, age or racial/ethnic groups.
- The data also do not explain what contributed to the overall reported increases in suicide deaths. Suicide is complex and there is no single cause or contributing factor that leads someone to die by suicide. There are multiple factors – such as an underlying mental health condition like depression, increased substance use, a family history of suicide, or chronic pain – that may lead someone to experience suicidal behavior and/or take their life.
As experts in the field of suicide prevention, we recommend using the CDC’s 2021 Suicide Data Report when reporting on suicide. It’s specifically designed to assess suicide data by state, year, method, age, race/ethnicity, gender, and more. Concerning trends from this report for 2021 data point to disparities between non-Hispanic Whites and other racial and ethnic groups. Between 2018 and 2021, increases in age-adjusted suicide rates were highest amongst Native Americans whose suicide rate increased by 26%, with Blacks and Hispanics also evidencing significant increases in suicide rates of 19.2% and 6.8% respectively, and an increase of 36.6% for Black people aged 10-24. Whereas for White people, the suicide rate decreased 3.9% from 2018 to 2021. The report also showed a significant suicide rate increase of 5% amongst 25-44 year-olds from 2018 to 2021
We remain hopeful that our research, public education and advocacy efforts – along with an increased national dialogue about mental health and what leads to suicide – continue to make a difference in addressing this preventable public health issue. At AFSP, we are dedicated to our mission of saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide through continued efforts like: advocating for increased funding of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and improving delivery of crisis services, supporting efforts to increase access and affordability of mental health care, implementing evidence-based suicide prevention practices in settings such as healthcare systems, emergency departments, and in firearms-owning communities. We are also committed to addressing the mental health and suicide needs of diverse communities, educating the general public about the impact of simple, direct conversations about suicide via our powerful PSA campaign, "Talk Away the Dark,” as well as encouraging media to use safe reporting practices when covering suicide to protect those who are most vulnerable, respect surviving families, and save lives.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, including those who have experienced a loss. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through public education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, with a public policy office in Washington, DC, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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